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Breast Cancer Is Women's Top Health Concern

Ruzanna Harutyunyan's picture

A study conducted on behalf of the not-for-profit National Women's Health Resource Center (NWHRC) in conjunction with REDBOOK magazine shows that developing breast cancer is women's top health concern, with 51 percent stating they worry about it versus those who worry about heart attack (48%), diabetes (42%) and lung cancer (31%).

The national survey, conducted by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner, as part of NWHRC's new Learn. Love. Commit. breast cancer awareness campaign, found that most women are relatively confident that they could survive breast cancer but, at the same time, 40 percent of respondents report that their biggest fear if diagnosed would be dying. Additionally, two-thirds of women (66%) say they are most concerned about the treatment itself or its side effects, including those who mentioned going through chemotherapy or surgery (35%), being sick or weak (19%) or losing a breast (12%).

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"While women clearly are concerned about breast cancer, roughly one quarter are still not getting annual mammograms and nearly 40 percent aren't conducting monthly self exams," said Elizabeth Battaglino Cahill, RN, executive director of NWHRC. "It's critically important for women to take charge of their health through these screenings and to understand that survivability is greatly enhanced when breast cancer is found early."

"Women, particularly moms, tend to put themselves and their health last and take care of everyone else in their lives first," said Stacy Morrison, editor-in-chief of REDBOOK. "The more they learn about their bodies and their risks, the more women will understand that protecting themselves with these key steps for prevention and early detection is the most loving thing they can do for their families and themselves."

While a majority of survey respondents (83%) report that they are somewhat or very confident that they could survive a diagnosis of breast cancer, Hispanic women (57%) are significantly less likely feel this way. Similarly, women without a college education are significantly less likely to be confident (79 percent) that they would survive a breast cancer diagnosis than college-educated women (93 percent).